Merging Banks to Close Overlapping Branches in Mass. and Calif.
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Berkshire Hills Bancorp Inc. and Legacy Bancorp Inc., both of Pittsfield, Mass., have agreed to sell off four overlapping branches as a condition of their merger.
Berkshire Hills and Legacy rank first and second in market share in Berkshire County, Mass., with nearly 50% of the county’s deposits, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data. To resolve anti-trust concerns, the companies have reached an agreement with the Justice Department to sell Legacy branches in Pittsfield, North Adams, Great Barrington and Lee that hold a combined $158 million of deposits.
The $2.8 billion Berkshire Hills is paying roughly $108 million for its hometown rival, creating a $4 billion-asset company with nearly 70 branches in Massachusetts, New York and Vermont. The deal is expected to close later this quarter.
Meanwhile, two Los Angeles companies that are merging said that they plan to close four overlapping branches when their deal closes in the second half of this year.
Center Financial Corp. and Nara Bancorp Inc. are merging in a deal that would create the country’s largest Korean-American-owned banking company, with $5.3 billion of assets. The companies said on Friday that three Nara branches in Los Angles would be combined with nearby Center branches and that two of Center’s branches in Oakland, Calif., would be combined into one.